Wednesday, July 31, 2013

To Kill a Mockingbird Post #3

To Kill a Mockingbird
This is the edition that I have been reading,
picture thanks to the Goodreads!
So I have a small confession about this read-in....I am behind!!! As I have been moving and still struggling with my health, I haven't read as much as I wanted.  So I will post again in the future with some more stuff from the end...but with today being the last day of the read-in, I wanted to talk a little bit more about stuff that teachers can point out.

Harper Lee has a very unique writing style..and I like to point a couple of quotes that highlight this style. This first quote comes from chapter six when Dill and Jem decide to sneak up to the Radley place and peek in the shutters.  When the story notice the writing to this has slowed down.  She used specific words and punctuation to slow down the reading.
Dill stopped and let Jem go ahead.  When Jem put his foot on the bottom step, the step squeaked.  He stood still, then tried his weight by degrees. The step was silent.  Jem skipped two steps, put his foot on the porch, heaved himself to it, and teetered a long moment. He regained his balance and dropped to his knees. He crawled to the window, raised his head and looked in (71) .  
 And then as you keep reading....we learn that there is a shadow moving towards them.  You notice here that the reading starts to speed up.
Dill saw [the shadow] next. He put his hands to his face.  When it crossed Jem, Jem saw it. He put his arms over his head and went rigid.  The shadow stopped about a foot beyond Jem. Its arm came out from its side, dropped , and was still. Then it turned and moved back across Jem, walked along the porch and off the side of the house, returning as it had come.  Jem leaped off the porch and galloped toward us. He flung open the gate, danced Dill and me through, and shooed us between two rows of swishing collards (71).
If you pick up on the verbs that they are more urgent.  The words come a lot faster too.  It is a great technique! There are other moments in the book too that really point out her writing style...but this is one of my favorites.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

August Read-a-thon!

Bout of Books
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 8.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Monday, July 29, 2013

Teaching....Harder Than It Looks

The picture from the article
Today I found an article called, "Why Teaching is Harder Than It Looks" and it was a great day for me to find this article.  I have been really struggling with my burn out at my current job....not just the teaching but everything around it.  This article really spoke to me...that my job is suppose to be hard---that I picked it knowing it was going to be hard.  Though I still maintain that no teacher really knows what they are getting themselves into until they get there. But this article really spoke to the fact that the outside world does not understand what it is like to be a teacher.

The author is a PhD. and she had decided to leave the laboratory work and become a teacher--first of that is awesome!! This is what more experts need to do! It takes such courage to do so and the students benefit from their experience in their field.  But this teacher had a wake up call to the lack of respect that teachers feel.  It is so true. We put our heart and soul into our job, and try to prove to everyone that we can do it.  She mentions that a lot of people try to tell her how to do her job--been there! She mentions how we try to quantify teaching so we know how people are doing....but you can't do that! So as school starts up again for a lot of people...go thank a teacher!  We work hard and could use that thank you.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


There is the saying, another man's trash is another man's treasure.  Not at my house right now....we have thrown so much away--I swear that we have completely filled that dumpster on our own!! We are still moving....yesterday was big day and then we had all of the little crap left! That has been today and last night...writing really fast to get back to it!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Book Review: Safe Haven

Title: Safe Haven
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Genre: Drama/Romance
Rating: 4.5/5....seriously like one of my favoriteist books ever!!

Why Did I Read? I wanted to see the movie so I needed to read book first and I found it on audio!

Summary: A girl named Kate shows up in a small town with no relation to it at all and tries to stay off in the background.  We eventually find out that she is running away from a very abusive husband.  However, she is able to find some semblance of normal as she meets Alex and his two kids--Kristen and Josh.  Of course you can guess that Alex and Kate fall in love...but what about the husband? What is he going to do about all of this?

What Did I Love?  I loved the story...and I loved the premise.  It was not your typical Nicholas Sparks book and that is what I loved. It was beautifully written and I loved listening to it.  The narrator told it beautifully...though I wish I could remember her name! I love how she changed voices for the characters and how it is not abridged!

What Did I Hate? I didn't like the end twist with the best friend...I won't spoil it but seriously it was a little lame.

I want to see the movie..but on the other hand I really don't want the book to be ruined....anybody seen it?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Current Event Friday

So today is a serious packing day so I am writing quickly and late.  I just wanted to point out one article today that I found interesting....the letter from the attorney general to the Russian government saying that Snowden will not receive the death penalty if sent back to the United States.  What is most interesting to me about this too is that the lawyer for Snowden's father points out that the letter assumes guilt before a trial has been held.  As silly as it sounds, he has a point.  As US citizens we are innocent until proven guilty, and we deserve a fair trial whether we have publicly shared military/intelligence secrets or not.  Thank you Bill of Rights.  Check out the AP article here:

No death penalty for Snowden if convicted, US says

Thursday, July 25, 2013

TKAM Part 2

So today is the check-in for the middle of To Kill a Mockingbird.  Chapter 12-21 is what I will be talking about today.  And as I did in the first part, I will talk a little bit about things that teachers can point out to their English students about this book.

First off, the beginning of this part really starts to set the stage for the trial. We start to figure out Harper Lee's reasoning through Scout's eyes for why people are racist.  In my estimation, it is because we like to stick people in a box. There is a quote in the book that really points this out that students might readily pick up on.
Aunt Alexandra, in underlining the moral of young Sam Meriweather's suicide, said it was caused by a morbid streak in the family.  Let a sixteen-year-old girl giggle in the choir and Aunty would say, "It just goes to show you, all the Penfield women are flighty."  Everybody in Maycomb, it seemed had a Streak: a Drinking Streak, a Gambling Streak, a Mean Streak, a Funny Streak (172).
If everyone has a streak, then everyone has a box, and we can stick them in that to judge them.  To me racism in the book really comes out because we have to stick everyone in a box...even the Cunninghams and the Ewells.  When Calpurnia takes Jem and Scout to church with her, they are stuck in a box because they are white children in a black church.

Not only do we put ourselves in boxes but people get stuck in their ways.  As Scout explains:
The older citizens, the present generation of people who had lived side by side for years and years, were utterly predictable to one another: they took for granted attitudes, character shadings, even gestures, as having been repeated in each generation and refined by time (175).
So it is interesting as Atticus tries to push the envelope of race, he knows he is going to loose because the people are predictable.

Aside from the racism ideas, they are a couple of writing prompts you can use with the class to get them thinking.  For example, at the beginning of chapter 12 Scout describes summer and you can really picture it.  Have the students write their own description of their favorite season--practice sensory imagery.  Or you can have them respond to different things in the story like this quote on page 179. "It takes a woman to do that kind of work." It is interesting for students to try to figure out what she really means by that.  Or having them write about why they think Atticus took the case. There are lots you can do...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Our Staycations

These past two weekends we have been out in the Salt Lake City area for some great staycations.  The first weekend we went to Lagoon.  This was my first time there.  It was great to have a good day with my pain, and it was fun to hang out with Brian and just roam around the park.

End of the day...I sure look tired!
The second weekend we went out to Kaysville and Logan for two family reunions of mine. It was great to see all of my aunts and uncles, their kids, my grandparents, and other distant relatives.  The cool thing about driving back Sunday was that we drove through a lot of counties in Utah. During that whole weekend we went through so many! Lets see we went through Cache, Weber, Morgan, Summit, Davis, Salt Lake, Utah, Wasatch, and Duchesne.  That was a lot of ground we covered! But it was fun to just drive along---reading, talking, and knitting.

Thank you to 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Words/Topics That Will Make You NOT pick up a book
So I am hopping in again on Top Ten Tuesday...with the house closing last week I completely forgot about it!  I would like to make this a weekly this week's topic is why I will not read a book. However...there are very few things that I will never ever ever read....and a lot of things that I won't grab on my own.

So stuff that I will never read
  1. Horror--really don't like the whole scary thing
  2. Zombies...I don't even watch movies/TV shows based on this---I don't get the point
  3. Erotica....I will never ever read 50 Shades of Gray...despite what anyone says about how great it is
  4. Supernatural....i.e. demons, really creepy witches etc....though this does not include Harry Potter
Books that I will occasionally read...especially with recommendations
  1. the main pull...Twilight started this craze--so this is my exception
  2. Stephen King---see reason above; I have not read anything by him...however, 11/22/63 is on my list to I will probably break that rule
  3. those one by famous celebrities...nope never--I have however read a few of celebrities that I care about....though I can actually only think of one
  4. Poetry...I read it strictly for school/academics.  I will NOT read poetry on my own (and yes I am an English teacher)
  5. Aliens....though I have read The Host and Ender's Game
  6.  Science fiction.....very rare for me--I will read the occasional but not on my own

Monday, July 22, 2013

What are you reading Monday?

This is a cool linky that I have seen every once in a while but I have never hopped on.  I am glad to be hanging out with Sheila and all of my fellow readers! One of the biggest reasons I am doing this today is because I am never reading four books at once!! You will have to watch for my book reviews on these books....but I will give little blurbs now.

So what am I reading?

File:The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.jpg 
This is the second time I've read this...I have been reading it with a book club this month--though I'm behind.  I guess that happens with online book clubs!  But I love this one--if you haven't read it you should!

File:To Kill a Mockingbird.JPG
As mentioned on Friday's post, I am reading this with Roof Beam Reader's read-a-long.

I started reading this again after I reviewed Angels and Demons, but it has gotten so side tracked with the other two!!

And I am listening to...

This is the one that will keep me company as I pack and has been while I drive! This is the only one that's brand new to me on this list.  I am glad to be far I am loving Rebecca Lowman.  I am not super far into it yet, but I can barely stop listening!

So...what are you reading?!

Picture Links: first three from Wikipedia, last from

Sunday, July 21, 2013

It is Okay to Read

So I found this article a while back about being a bookworm. It had such a good title: Being a bookworm boosts your brainpower into old age.   The fact that we read a lot now will prevent senile stuff before it really gets started. This study asked people to read and do other mentally stimulating activities, take memory tests throughout their old age, and then donate their brains to science after they die.  This study then looked at their brains to see what affect these activities might have had.  A quote from the article states:
They found that the people who reported doing reading, writing and other mentally stimulating activities throughout their lives also did better on the memory tests. But what’s interesting is that some of the people who regularly read books, or did other brain-stretching activities, did not show outward symptoms of Alzheimer's, even if their brains showed physical signs of the disease. (Some of them did show symptoms of dementia, but the rate of cognitive decline was slower in people who did more of these mentally stimulating activities.)
That's just cool to me....we can gain the brain symptoms of Alzheimer's but because of the exercise we do to our brain we don't have to show those symptoms.  So go find a good book! And all of my students who resist SSR....suck it up and just deal with it.  I'm helping you out :)

And this makes me think too that Meredith's mom would have never gotten Alzheimer's because she was so dang smart
Thanks to

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Importance of Records

I struggled today with what to write about…but I started to think about a conversation I was having with my grandmother today.  She was talking about her aunt…her mother’s sister. She had never had children so her stories and history died with her—unless someone in the family had kept something which no one knew for sure.  And then we were talking about another ancestor previous to that who had emigrated from Sweden to the United States and no one knew exactly why.  As much as I hate journal writing because I think I have a boring life, it is important for people later on.

I am very curious about how people lived before—hence the history buff in me.  I like to hear about the little stories of their childhoods, and how they lived before.  It makes you wish that you could talk to them and ask them questions---why did you do this or that? Or did it just make sense at the time?  Were you really in love with that widow or did you just marry her for her money?  We don’t know the thought processes of people that come before unless they write it down. 

So I guess that’s a good thing about my blogging this year—it is like keeping a journal, though I don’t always write about the daily things. However, I do write about what I think and what my thought processes are. And that is better than no record at all.


Friday, July 19, 2013

TKAM Reflection Part 1

pp-mockingbird3Today is the first check-in for TKAM Read-Along with RoofBeam Reader.  I was realizing today that this is my fourth time reading this book, but the first time reading it for fun.  In the past, I have read it for school and to teach so I am very familiar with the book but I am enjoying just reading it for fun this time. While I can't completely turn the teacher brain off, I can read it more lazily.  I am also reading with one that I have marked up already which is nice because then my teacher brain has something to look at.

So I'm thinking that I'm not going to summarize the book in my posts....if you're looking for a good summary Roofbeam has one and so does Leeswammes--so you can go there and read theirs.  I will mention this, the first part of the book that we read--chapters 1-11 really are the set up for the climax of the story (the trial). We are getting to know Scout, Jem, Dill, Atticus, Calpurnia, and the other members of the town like Miss Rachel, Stephanie, the Radleys, the Cunninghams, and the Ewells.

So instead of summarizing the book I will answer Roofbeam's questions, talk about what a teacher would maybe talk about in the story, and my other impressions on the book.

First things first, Scout as the narrator.  A lot of people actually think that because the story takes place when Scout is young that it is being told by a young girl.  However, we have great clues to the fact that this is actually a recollection of what happened.  For example, she says at the beginning: "When enough years have gone by to enable us to look back on them, we sometimes discuss the events leading to his accident."  So we clearly know that she is a lot older.  We also have other clues that she is an adult...I love phrases like "dietary affairs" or "monosyllabic". With that understanding, we also have to understand some bias in the story.  It is interesting to wonder how much the memories have been distorted.

Secondly, all of the characters are great but my favorite character is definitely Scout.  I think that's mostly because she is the narrator of the story.  I relate to her well I think and I love her vocabulary.  This is one of the things that my teacher brain gets all excited about. I have so many words circled in my book to go through with students that I teach it to.  Words like: condescended, domiciled, flivver, and taciturn.  My least favorite character is honestly Dill....I have never really gotten behind ever--I miss the maturity that the other characters seem to have.

Finally, the other teacher part of my brain likes to show the foreshadowing throughout the story.  The fact that we meet the Ewells in the beginning, we know about Dill's broken arm before it even happens, and we get to know the town.  All of these components help us to understand what happens in the second half of the story.  Enjoy reading part 2!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Decisions, Decisions

So many people make a lot of decisions everyday.  Some decisions are small--like what to wear, what to eat for dinner, etc.  Other decisions are a little bit bigger: what to do with your day, what to say in a tough situation, etc. And then there's the big ones: buying a house, a car, getting a new job, etc.  It is interesting to thinking about how we make these decisions.  Sometimes it is really hard and agonizing to make the decision. You have to stretch and get out of your comfort zone.  Others just seem to make sense because they just fall into place.  That's my "favorite" kind of decision because it just makes sense.  But there is always the waiting game as you wait for the things out of your control like closing on the house or getting the offer on the job.

So what do you do to make these decisions?  I am personally a bit of a pros, cons person. But also a little bit of following my gut--does it just feel right?  If it feels right, then I am very likely to do it.  Some people find it funny but when I bought my new car--I had to see if it felt right to me....same thing with the house.  It is such a gut thing.

What unique things do you do?


This is suppose to be Wednesday's post!

I completely forgot to submit this post yesterday......I guess maybe I messed up my 365 project.  But I did blog yesterday.  I didn't write most of it--I was the editor in chief of it.  Check out our book review of The Brain Fix by Ralph E. Carson.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Today I became a homeowner.  Eeek!! But we managed it....we figured out all the paperwork and got the keys tonight.  Brian is so excited to do the work on the house.  I am not excited to pack the boxes, but it will be nice to get all settled in the house.  After we got the keys tonight, I got my phone out to do a tour of the house for you.

***A minute later***

Well I was going to post those videos but I was watching them back and apparently it didn't record my great commentary....sad!! That was the best part.

***So a little while later***

Brian was like go back to the house and make a new this is the second version.

I will do a little bit on the backyard tomorrow :) But we're pretty excited.

Monday, July 15, 2013

To Kill a Mockingbird Day 1

Today I am starting a reading of To Kill a Mockingbird (which will often be referred to as TKAM for faster typing).  This is a great read-along with Roof Beam Reader.  He broke it down that it is about 19 pages a day with different post opportunities.  I am excited to read this book again and offer ideas to teachers for teaching this book.  It is a great book to use to teach a lot of things in English.

So for today I am going to make a quick list for teachers trying to decide whether to use this or not. Basically a list of why they should....and I'm sure I will add to it as I re-read.

  • Symbolism
  • Foreshadowing
  • Perspective (with Scout doing it from adult)
  • Understanding historical context with a book
  • And of course great writing!!
To Kill a Mockingbird.JPG
One of many edition covers you can get...I think each post I might do a different one :P
This one is from Wikipedia

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Talk a Day Challenge: Stand Ye In Holy Places

Even though this is like the middle of the month, I started the TOFW Challenge: Rise Higher last week.  I mentioned in last week's post that I do better when I have some accountability, so I tell all of you guys how I did this week :).  I started with the Young Women broadcast from conference.  Even though I'm in Young Women's I hadn't had a chance to hear the conference or read it yet-sad but true.  So I wanted to make this one a priority.

However, this week did not go as well as I had hoped.  I read all three presidency's messages--Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.  Then Wednesday came with a thirteen hour busy day and I came home and pretty much went to bed.  Thursday I was so tired from the day before still that I didn't read either.  This weekend we were out of town so going to bed late and ugh....still didn't read.  So I was three for seven this week. This week is shaping up to be just as busy if not more, so we'll hope that I can do at least one a day.

But I wanted to talk a little bit about something that I learned this week. With it being the YW broadcast it is all about the theme: "Stand Ye in Holy Places".  These women did a great job defining what a holy place is--specially when and where we can feel the Spirit.  The biggest thing that I thought of this week is that we really need to think about where/when we have experienced a holy place/moment and write that down. These memories can help us out in hard times. This goes along with what Elder Scott said in one conference talk--writing down when you feel the Spirit.  We need to recognize those moments so that we can recognize them when we need them.  We can also create our holy places a lot better when we know what need to create them.  So I invite you to think about where/when was the last holy place you were in?

It was great to learn from these women this week

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Bloglovin' v. Feedly

So with my reflections post, I commented that I couldn't decide which one of these blog readers to use.  A wise fellow blogger mentioned that she had used one and then switched to the other and recommended that I give them both a shot--it wouldn't hurt anything. I had been meaning to all month--especially since I was a little worried about what blog posts I was missing with SO many that I follow now.  Like seriously, I have a ton of e-mails of blog posts to go through and my Google reading list on Blogger was getting so big.

So, yesterday I gave it a shot.  I created a Bloglovin' account and a Feedly account after looking at both and trying to get an idea what they would do for me.  I was actually not that pleased with Bloglovin'. It feels a lot like a social network site instead of a place to help me organize my blog reading and get information.  As I was creating my page, they were trying to get me to add specific people that they thought I might like.  So I wasn't too excited.  Also, I didn't feel like it was super explanatory with what functions did what.

After I got frustrated enough with Bloglovin', I switched over to Feedly to see what it was like.  I was a little bit cautious with all the extra stuff it seemed to have just like Bloglovin', but as I started to set it up it was SO helpful. I had a great checklist and explanations of what meant what.  I also knew exactly how to import my Google Reader stuff because they told me (Bloglovin' didn't tell me--just sent me to Google which didn't help). I also felt like I had a way to organize my stuff a lot better.  So the final verdict was Feedly.  We will see how it goes the next couple of days in terms of using it, but they are the ones I'm going to spend the most time with.  I am also excited about the Pinterest feature since I use that soo much for storage and bookmarking!  So the current vote is Feedly! 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Current Events Day

So it's late and I'm we're not doing the full favorite five thing today....I am just going to tell you about news stories from KSL that I found interesting this week. KSL is a local Utah news channel, my favorite in fact.

So...have you seen this? It is a gazelle jumping into a car to get a way from a cheetah!  This was freaky.

This story got my attention: Scout leader could face charges for shooting a bear  So apparently the boys left food out and the bear got in it. They tried to get rid of the bear, but that didn't work so the leader shot the bear.  While on the one hand it makes sense, but on the other it seems a little bit extreme.  I guess that's the DNR's problem.

This is a perfect example of how the news likes to make things such a big deal that really aren't.  Here's the headline New Utah NSA center requires 1.7M gallons of water daily to operate. So why is that startling...well we are in Utah which is a desert and the normal person is regularly asked to conserve water.  So why would the government take that much?  It is a huge number...however you read the article and realize that its not that big of a deal.  That's the same amount of water that a bottling company and other similar industrial buildings would use, and it's only 1% of the demand in that area.  Also, the city is going to have to time to get ready for the demand. Finally, a third of the water is going to go back to Bluffdale parks and other green things that need watering.  So seriously, headlines are just there to get you to click on them!

A rendering of what the data center will look like when it's done from

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pros and Cons of Getting Rid of Clothes

So I was thinking this morning about what to wear.  I felt like I didn't have any choices....and I probably needed to do laundry.  So pulled out a shirt I hadn't worn in a while.  I thought to myself, "This is a shirt that should really be in the box to be given away. But maybe I will wear it one more time."  I did...and while its not my favorite shirt it was very serviceable.  So here comes my pros and cons of keeping a shirt....

Argument to Get Rid of!
  1. More room in closet for new clothes
  2. Seriously, are you every going to wear it again?
  3. It really doesn't fit anymore
  4. Not in style anymore (but really I don't care about should that really count?!)
  5. Worn out....then they should be really just be thrown away I suppose
Argument to Keep!
  1. Wearing something new every once in a while
  2. Having something to wear on laundry days
  3. If it still fits then why spend more money on something new.
Hmm.....I guess I should get rid of most of my clothes....uh oh guess its time to go shopping!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Importance of Relaxation

I found this quote today from O Henry:
Each of us, when our day's work is done, must seek our ideal, whether it be love or pinochle or lobster à la Newburg, or the sweet silence of the musty bookshelves. 
I honestly had no idea what pinochle I looked it is apparently a card game. Not sure what the lobster thing has to do with anything...but I think that when the day's work is done these are what I need to do to relax! That's why I loved this quote.  It has been a crazy couple of days and I am feeling really worn out and stressed out.  So it was nice to find this quote to remind me that I need to take some time for myself.  What do you like to do after a long day?  My list.....

1. Watch some stupid TV...comedies are good
2. Not so stupid TV that allows me to fall into the storyline
3. Eat chocolate
4. Read a good book
5. Knit

The biggest thing is trying not to think TOO much about the easier said then done huh?

William Sydney Porter by doubleday.jpg
From Wikipedia...I wondered what O Henry looked like

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Movie Adaptations of Books
Today's Top Ten Tuesday link up is all about movies that took our books and made them new....for good or ill so here is my list

Top 5 Best (for the record, I don't know if any movie will really replace a book)

1. The Pelican Brief--This actually is a pretty good adaptation, but I still like the book better.

2. The Notebook--Stays so close, and I felt like I was reading the book when I watched it!

3. Angels and Demons--Again like DaVinci code it follows it very well, I think even better than DaVinci

4. DaVinci Code--It actually follows it very well.

5. The Time Traveler's Wife--This was a great movie adaptation to a book. (though I highly recommend reading it first! I think it will help the movie make more sense)

Top 5 Worst

1. My Sister's Keeper--This movie made me SO mad!! They changed the ending!!!! Read the book then see the movie if you really want to.

2. Harry Potter #5--Holy crap I could barely recognize the book in the movie

3. The Count of Monte Cristo--I honestly I am not sure why I didn't like this movie....but it really didn't remind me of the book at all.

4. Bourne Identity, Supremacy etc.--I haven't read the books, just seen the movies--my husband has read the books and he has told me that all the movies stole was the basic premise--a spy named Jason Bourne that doesn't remember anything.  That's it! I have been meaning to read the books because apparently they are SO much better!

5. Twilight movies--They really aren't that bad, but the acting leaves something to be desired compared to the books.

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Quote Ramble

So today was a really long work....and then an almost two hour doctors appointment.  For those of you wondering, no results/change.  I have been referred to another doctor (yep, I know), but it is someone new so the more people we have on this the better. I guess!  Today is a day when I am looking for inspiring quotes.

Be splendid. #quoteoftheday
It is okay to be tired at the end of the day :)

Nicely said
There is always tomorrow
I wish that this had a more specific link:

Well said!
This makes so much sense!!

Words to live by!

never regret anything that has happened in your life, it cannot be changed, undone or forgotten. So take it as a lesson learned and move on
No regrets!!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

An Appropriate Sunday Challenge

So, this week I learned of a new challenge.  This challenge is unique in the fact that it is not blog based-but it is LDS based.  Deseret Book, an LDS bookseller and publisher, sponsors events throughout each year called Time Out for Women.  These events recognize that women are special and unique individuals that need the support and collaboration of other women.  I have never attended a Time Out event, but I did watch one online once.  It was a great experience, so I have ended up on their mailing list.

So in the middle of June I found out that they were having monthly challenges to help us improve our spirituality.  I didn't want to hop in that far into the month, but I was curious about July's challenge.  So this week, I got an e-mail announcing this challenge.  It is halfway through April and October conference---so this challenge encourages us to renew our commitment in General Conference.  We try to focus on and read a talk a day.  The challenge isn't just to read, but also to act on the talks.

This challenge sounded like a great way for me to re-center myself.  But I always do better when I have some accountability.  So I am announcing it to you.  I don't want to tell you everything that I am doing, and daily will be a bit much. I am thinking a weekly check in, maybe on Sundays.  But I signed up--so it starts today! Wish me luck. And if you would like to join or learn more, click here.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Movie Review: We Bought a Zoo

This movie came out in 2011 starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson.  Brian and I had wanted to see this movie for a while, and we finally got a chance to.  So here is the run down!

Summary: After the death of his wife, Benjamin and his two kids need a fresh start.  Benjamin goes house hunting and ends up finding the perfect house.  Well almost perfect...there is a zoo on the property that you have to buy if you want the house.  So, Benjamin jumps in head first.  The zoo needs a lot of help, so they spend a lot of time and money trying to fix it up and their lives.  Will they make it?  You should watch the movie to find out.

What I Loved?

  • It is a really really sweet story!! And I love how it is based on a true story!
  • They picked a great actor for the son....he really could be Matt Damon a lot younger
  • The daughter is ADORABLE! They wrote her really well and she delivered the lines perfectly.
What I Hated?
  • Had a lot of characters that they only partially would have been nice if they had done more with all of them
  • Not much is a pretty good movie!!!
So bottom line...Great movie! Totally find it and buy it!

From Wikipedia!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Five Favorite Front-Page Features

This week I am going to feature

Venezuela, Nicaragua offer Snowden asylum Being so long a man without a country, I bet he is grateful--but I bet the NSA is frustrated

Alleged plot to extort Paula Deen exposed; FBI makes arrest As if things couldn't get worse for her, talk about drama!

Zimmerman trial The plot thickens with the prosecutors closing their case and the defense asking to let the judge to throw it out--I really wonder where this will fall

Immigration reform--As mentioned last week, it passed the Senate--but the House still needs to vote.  It becomes really tricky with the ideas of this issue because everyone is opinionated about becomes a "do I vote on my own" or "with my constituents" decision

Is Egypt headed for a civil war? There is a military coup going on and then there is the group that still support the elected will be interesting to see how this one shakes out too


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth of July!!!

Happy Birthday America!!! It has been an interesting day...I worked today--and parent-teacher conferences were the highlight.  So it has been a long day! But I love how my biggest tradition is watching Capitol Fourth on PBS.  YAY for great musical numbers and the National Symphony Orchestra.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Food for Thought

So, today's post is inspired by a quote from Margaret Mitchell--author of Gone with the Wind. She said:
With enough courage, you can do without a reputation. 
Ever since I saw this quote, I have been thinking about what that really means.  You could interpret this in a few ways to me. The first thing I thought about was social capital.  Everyone has personality bank accounts. When we need favors from other people, we pull from this bank account.  When we give favors to other people, we are depositing into the bank account for use later.  Some people relate this bank account to your reputation, because it serves as the interest on the account. If you have a "good" reputation your interest rate is higher so there is a higher reserve there.  I wonder sometimes how my reputation affects my bank account.  But if you think about Margaret's don't need this interest rate if you have the courage enough to stand up for yourself.  While I agree with this, sometimes it is a lot harder--so there is a price to pay for this courage.

But on the other hand, I was thinking about reputation like your own self-esteem.  If you worry about other people think of you, reputation means something completely different. You want other people to think well of you, so you please them to help your reputation.  But if you have the courage to stand up for what you believe in no matter what other people think, then you don't need a reputation because you don't care what other people think of you.

What do you think? Is reputation worth it? Or is courage more important?
File:Margaret Mitchell NYWTS.jpg
Margaret Mitchell courtesy of Wikipedia 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Movie Review: The Terminal

So this is what I watched tonight...should have been grading but oh well! This movie came out in 2004 starring Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Stanley Tucci.  Seriously with that list of stars it will be a good movie.  And it was directed by Steven Spielberg! So now we're even more set.....and yes it was a great movie!

So summary....Tom Hanks plays a man from an Eastern European country. When he arrives in NYC, his passport is denied.  While he was in the air his country was overthrown and his country no longer existed.  He was literally a man without a country (reminds me of a certain current event right now).  So he waits until his country is recognized by the U.S. Where does he do this? In the airport.

What Did I Love?

  • The story line is awesome!
  • The writing was tremendous.  It was very witty--there were so many moments where I was laughing out loud.
  • The acting was great too!  Tom Hanks' accent is awesome and Stanley Tucci plays a great "bad guy"
What Did I Hate?
  • Umm....I can't think of anything!
Bottom Line: Buy it, find it, if you haven't seen it you need too!

Monday, July 1, 2013

A Review of June and Coming Soon

Wow, can't believe another month has come and gone.  As I typically do on the first of the month, I do a run down of the top posts of the previous month and what's to come up this month.

3. We had a tie for third you get two posts!
Classics Club Meme This one was actually a lot of fun!  I enjoy participating in the Classics Club, and doing little things with them.  It has no pressure and I love that!!
Article Review: Sending My Child Away I was actually glad to see that this one made it on the list. I debated actually posting this one, but I was very impressed by this article and wanted to share it.  I hope that it helps someone out there.

2. Shakespeare Plus Autism Another fun one to write! I love talking about Shakespeare!  I have a new found love for him with my job, as I mentioned in this post.

1. Another Doctor's Appointment I should have predicted that this one would be first, all the rest of my ones about my health issues have been.  It is nice to see that everyone cares.  This gives me an opportunity to catch everyone up on how I'm doing now. I have good days and bad days, and because I was having good days I thought that I would get better on my own. Biggest reason, I am done with doctors!  This weekend was a testament that I maybe shouldn't do that anymore.  So I called today--and I have another appointment next Monday.  I'll update then.

Upcoming this month...July will bring lots of new changes and busy times.  We will be closing on our new house this month!! How crazy is that! So my life will be full of signing and boxes. I have a family reunion that I am looking forward too and hopefully I will get my teaching license renewed this month too.

Blog wise I will be participating in my first ever read-along with To Kill a Mockingbird and RoofBeam Reader. This is one of my favorite books and I want to share some lesson plan ideas that I have had.  Feel free to join in too! I also really need to finish a blanket for a good friend who is having her first baby this month and I will share that too!!  I also hope to hop on some more blog hops. Finally, I am looking forward to possibly fixing up my blog following ways.  I need a better system...I am thinking about Bloglovin' or Feedly.  I can't decide...but I need too because I don't want to miss stuff!  Suggestions?

Our new house!!!